If the Sky View Bobcats had any concerns about playing East without starting center Natalie Harris on Friday night, sophomore Amy Andrus quickly put them to rest.
Andrus scored 13 of her team-high 22 points in the first quarter to spark Sky View to a 61-49 win over the Leopards. The victory improved the Bobcats' record to 8-0, while East fell to 3-3.
Sky View coach Paul Hansen learned earlier in the day that Harris would have to miss the game because she had the flu. Andrus made Harris' absence almost a moot point with her dominant inside play.
"She stepped up big time," said Bobcats guard Kelsey Naylor. "She got some awesome boards. She had an all-around great game."
Andrus thrived despite getting beat up in the paint. She made six different trips to the free-throw line, but East's physical play did little to slow her down.
"I was getting hammered, but I always get hammered," Andrus said. "It's all good."
Andrus was complemented well near the basket by fellow sophomore Aubry Boehme, who chipped in eight points for Sky View.
The Leopards hung with the Bobcats for close to three quarters. East sharpshooter Lauren Porter scored 16 of her team-high 22 points in the first half, and the Leopards trailed by just four points going into the break.
"She (Porter) is a handful," Hansen said. "She is a one-man wrecking crew. She can penetrate and shoot. She's tough to guard."
Sky View stepped up its defensive intensity in the second half. A 1-3-1 defense slowed Porter down, and the Bobcats closed the third quarter on a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach.
Naylor scored 11 points and made a 3-pointer for Sky View. Latoya Utuone and Sherale Singer each had 10 points for East.
Friday's win was Sky View's final tune-up before league play starts in Region 5 next week. The Bobcats, who admittedly have felt pressure to keep their record perfect, say they know they'll be a marked team when the games count in the league standings."It (the team's 8-0 record) definitely puts a target on our back," Naylor said. "We know teams are going to be gunning for us. We just have to keep it up and not let down."